The Lost Art of Consultant Care

Mar 13, 2012   //   by Kevin OBrien   //   Blog, IT Consultants  //  No Comments

Consultant Care Model
Many years ago, there was this thing called “Consultant Care”. Those of us that were around in those days recall the dedicated resource that was responsible for consultants on site, as well as care and feeding of the people that help give our companies a good name. The model was such that if your company was big enough, there was a dedicated resource that was solely responsible for making sure that contractors and consultants were receiving the treatment that kept them and the client happy. It was an insurance plan to take care of your personnel and the client satisfaction.

However, since the movement toward less of a salaried consultant model and more toward the hourly consulting model, this particular “Consultant Manager” or “Consultant Satisfaction” role has become less prominent. We see it all the time, with consultants complaining that they never see their reps or they never hear from their company anymore. It has quickly become a normal mode of operation that consultants are getting used to; kind of like paying for luggage and meals on flights. But, it doesn’t mean that it should have to be this way.

With standards changing, there is opportunity to be unique. Using the flight fees example, airlines opting out of charging for meals and luggage will quickly differentiate themselves. This is no different as it compares to consultant care. With expectations low and most consultants fending for themselves at the client, staffing and services firms that step out and provide extra value to the client and the staff quickly set themselves apart. We refer to these acts as “the little things” that really make the difference.

Some key benefits that arise from a consultant care strategy include:

  1. Improved customer service from the staffing firm. Multiple touch points are engaged in servicing the client
  2. Less turnover of consultants on project results in assisting clients in meeting project deadlines and managing budget
  3. Clients are happy to see that their consultants are getting attention from their employers. Many times, co employment concerns prevent clients from offering perks to consultants as they do employees.  When consulting companies are able to pass along these perks (team lunches, recognition awards, etc), companies benefit from a well appreciated consultant on their project.

 

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

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